Bruised, but not Broken (poems)

-Challapalli Swarooparani 

10. Buffalo Nationalism

A void at home
The minds speak no words
On the day when we sold
Our pet buffalo
A pet is not an animal
But one of us, more than kith and kin
We have no separate homes.

She is my parents’ child,
Along with other children
And nicknamed a puppy ―
Because it bought cheese
On the day of her birth.

Her moment of birth is a festival
The fragrance of the new-born
Soothes our souls
As children, we were privileged
To see her
Bathed in warm water
How she hops about, her umbilical cord
Her belt.

The calf becomes a heifer
Grows, even as we grow
Becomes pregnant.
She is sold
For our sake.

And it is time now
For her to move to another shelter.

When she turns around and looks at us
We weep, uncontrolled.
As she makes her way to another home
Does she have words for my father?

[To ProfKanchaIlaiah Shepherd]

(Telugu: “Buffalo Nationalism” translated by Dr G Chenna Reddy, Dept of English, Acharya Nagarjuna University and published in Vaartha daily, 05.01.2007.)


(To be continued-)

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